Nate Fernald asks is this thing on? on The Late Late Show

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Writer and actor Nate Fernaldknown for his many eccentric sketches on The Late Late Show with James Corden, made his last appearance on the show on November 3 – returning as stand-up comedian Trey Wakeman. Wakeman’s act has changed a bit from the last time he was on the show playing an outdated pre-pandemic set in a post-pandemic world. He’s a rebel now: he names his albums like Triggered 2 and does photo shoots where he is draped in duct tape to let the public know his comedy is dangerous. True to its character, it struts around the Late show stage, ready to put on a barn burner of a performance. But then something happens that causes him to lose his rhythm. He tells his first joke – “Gasoline prices have gotten so high, I’m surprised they don’t have the munchies” – and it’s no laughing matter. “Is this thing on?” Wakeman said, pressing the microphone. Surely it’s not because the public didn’t appreciate his well-crafted and brilliant joke? !

What follows is a very literal exploration of “Is this thing on?” stand-up shot of Fernald as Wakeman: He walks all the way The late show studio, conducting a thorough investigation to ensure that any audio equipment that might have prevented the audience from hearing his joke properly is working. He then goes to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Electricity to check the status of the electrical network on which the studio is located. “I was doing stand-up in this building and I told a joke and nobody laughed,” he told the receptionist. “And so I’m kind of just trying to pinpoint where the problem is.” After hearing Wakeman’s punch line, she offers another possibility: “It’s just not such a good joke.” Wakeman is shaken by this revelation. After doing everything but testing the hearing of every member of the audience, he finally returns to the Late show scene, willing to admit they just weren’t fans of his joke. “So I guess you didn’t like that one,” he said.

All things considered, Wakeman handled this more gracefully than most comedians of his ilk, but there’s still time for him to double down. In all likelihood, he will appear on a podcast in two weeks and complain that people are just “too sensitive” to jokes that reference food cravings. He’ll cast his bombing as a First Amendment issue and make a heartfelt appeal to listeners, asking, “If comedians can’t make angry gas price jokes, who can?”

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